Awarding excellence

Ahead of the October launch of the inaugural Digital Energy Festival, a virtual award ceremony honoured and celebrated the deserving nominees and winners of the African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards in digital-style.

The article first appeared in ESI Africa Issue 4-2020.
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The seventh edition of the awards honoured the most remarkable and inspiring energy projects and power pioneers on the continent. During this year’s digital, yet still stylish, celebration, the winners were celebrated by their peers.

Ifeoma Malo of Clean Tech Hub Nigeria, Sanusi Ohiare of the Rural Electrification Fund, Sosai Renewable Energies Company and KEDCO – all Nigerian – walked away with top honors in their respective categories for their ground-breaking contributions to the industry.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Andrew Herscowitz, former coordinator of Power Africa, USAID’s programme to increase access to electricity in subSaharan Africa. His current position is Chief Development Officer at the US International Development Finance Corporation.

Wiebe Boer, CEO of All-On, an off-grid energy investment company focused on Nigeria, said of this year’s Power Industry Leader of the Year, Ifeoma Malo: “I want to say special congratulations to my good friend and sister Ify Malo for this amazing recognition which you completely deserve. I got to know Ify quite a few years ago when she was in the public sector. But it was only when I got into the power sector and she was with Power4All and then with the Clean Tech Hub, that I’ve really really, really gotten to know her very well and I’ve appreciated everything that she has done. Not just for me but for the whole industry.”

[Ed: I had the pleasure of interviewing Ifeoma Malo for this edition’s Women in Energy series. See pages 74 to 76 to read up on what she believes is driving the energy revolution and more.]

In congratulating Herscowitz, Amadou Hott, Minister for Economy, Planning and Cooperation of Senegal, said of the Lifetime Achievement Award winner: “I’ve known Andy for the last six years and have worked very closely with Andy on various initiatives in Africa. Andy is one of the smartest and one of the hardest working people that I have ever met. Andy is always willing to listen to new tools, to new methods, to innovation and he worked very hard at that in the energy access agenda in Africa. Well done, Andy, and good luck on your next move. All the best.”

Meanwhile, Faruk Yusuf Yabo, Ag Director (Renewable Energy and Rural Power Access) at Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Power, said of Ohiare: “Dr Sanusi has been responsible for a number of the rural electrification projects that are happening today in Nigeria under the Rural Electrification Fund, impacting positively on lives of individuals and small businesses. projects. So it was not a surprise that he was being considered for this very important award.”

On the project side of the awards, which was determined by public vote, Lungile Mashele, Energy Specialist at the DBSA, said of the Sosai project: “SDG7 speaks to access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all. However, your project stands out because it built in the economy as well. Smallscale installations often are criticised for not contributing to economic growth. However, people tend to neglect micro-economies, especially in rural areas. Sosai has proven that electrification can transform people’s lives, not just economically, but socially as well.

Congratulations, Sosai, you have enabled rural electrification, food processing, storage and the advancement of women entrepreneurs. Your project has provided 864 people with electricity and enabled five new businesses. This is remarkable and should serve as a blueprint for future projects in Africa.”

Also determined by public vote, KEDCO in Nigeria was congratulated by Alexander Kwame Osei, CEO of Lexan Energy Consult, Ghana: “KEDCO has done a great job. They were able to review their ATC&C from 62% to 47%. They were also able to raise their collection efficiency from 6% to 39%. This is no mean achievement. Their “Winning the Heart” model, which enabled them to achieve this feat, is recommended to all other African countries. Congratulations KEDCO.” ESI

For in-depth interviews, and detailed information about the winning projects, visit: www.african-energy-elites.com